Liars, no. Certainly in denial most likely. Hell, if millions upon MILLIONS of total and abject perfect strangers (who ONLY know the guy through his music and videos) can jump through enough mental gymnastics on Michael Jackson's behalf, imagine then if you're a family member or super close friend of his?
And people who defend him keep continually bringing Jackson's own childhood abuse and his eccentricities and personality quirks into things: which only tells me that the people who defend him, in a great majority of instances, have so deeply personalized this man, that they feel like they know the guy personally because he's been SO culturally ubiquitous and meant SO dearly much to them throughout their whole entire lives.
And look, for a case as EXTREME as Michael Jackson's, I actually DO at least KIND OF get that. Up to a certain point anyway.
Like I said for starters, I grew up super into a lot of his music and a bunch of his various media projects as a kid: there were tons of aspects of the guy that I grew up admiring and even idolizing. When I was little, I used to constantly rewatch and closely study this late-night special that aired back in the 80s about Michael Jackson's dancing that got fairly in-depth into his rehearsal routines & dance drills and so on.
And I would be worlds beyond stunned and overwhelmed and utterly transfixed by how much IMMENSE dedication and discipline he put into honing dance as both a physical & artistic craft (kinda hit me in much the same way that martial arts in general did throughout my life), and I empathized with a few (though hardly all) of his personality quirks, like his dedication to artistic experimentation and his constant drive to creatively challenging himself and to always grow/change as an artist.
And beyond all that, like most people in general I'm more than well aware of what MJ's father did to him as a kid, and my heart still cracks in half for Michael as a small kid and what Joe Jackson's physical and mental/emotional abuse CLEARLY did to him (and very possibly even played some kind of a role in MJ's later sexual proclivities with children): Michael literally and physically wore the mental/emotional impact of that abuse on his face via all the cosmetic surgery (his father used to mock and belittle his face and physical appearance cruelly and routinely growing up as a disciplinary tactic: just utterly revolting).
The guy basically surgically disfigured himself as an adult on account of the way his father treated him as a boy. No matter what sexual horrors Jackson may (or mmmmmmmaybe may not have, but doubtful) have visited upon the kids at Neverland, its almost impossible NOT to feel at least SOME shred of sympathy and empathy for the guy.
Abuse and trauma, in a vast majority of cases in life, is something that often just keeps on getting passed down and passed down and passed down, from one person to the next and the next, having repercussions and reverberations across whole entire generations. Hell, god only knows what might've happened to Joseph Jackson in his youth that possibly might've lead to HIM horribly abusing his own kids, including Michael.
But there's a HUGE distinction to be drawn between Michael Jackson the abused boy and Michael Jackson the (again, overwhelmingly likely at this point) sexually predatory adult. And it is indeed VERY much possible to feel IMMENSELY bad for the tragedy of the former while at the same time making NO excuses or apologies whatsoever for the horrible actions of the latter.
But the bigger point here is: we DON'T know the guy. NONE of us do. And yet SO MANY people all across the world are clearly SO touched by his music and his cultural impact that SO MANY people so strongly, passionately feel like they know him and voraciously, vigorously defend him like they're defending a beloved close friend or family member. Which of course, he fucking ISN'T.
Its really NOT a million miles removed, psychologically, from some of the (more good-faith at least) Mignogna defenders here: the sheer scale is just VASTLY, immeasurably larger of course. Same goes really for almost ANY of the celebrity #MeToo cases. People connect with a piece of art, they feel that they have some connection with the artist: but apart from some maybe VERY broad aspects of their personality (that they let shine through in their art at least), WE DON'T FUCKING KNOW THESE PEOPLE. They AREN'T our friends or loved ones.
We owe them literally NOTHING in the way of the same sort of benefit of the doubt we might very well give very super close friends, family, and loved ones who we may not have anything other than their word as a close, trusted people in our lives to go by. These people in the public light are just that: they're just people, no different on a basic, fundamental level at their core than anyone else among the rest of us here.
At the end of the day, no matter WHO a person is, no matter HOW MUCH we THINK we "know" them or how much we think what some vague, abstraction of an idea of them represents to us: if someone does something monstrously terrible to another human being (particularly in this case to small children), then NONE of that should buy them ANY "extra" credibility or good will. You don't get a "get out of something heinous" free card, just for being charming or gifted or popular enough. Even on as DEEPLY PRIMAL a level as Michael Jackson was for literally BILLIONS of people throughout the world.
And that's an ESPECIALLY important lesson that society at large NEEDS to learn, particularly from a case like MJ's: since once again, it was without a doubt his IMMENSE wealth, power, fame, and overall global-adoration that allowed him to (again, in the now VERY likely event that he did these crimes) get away with this continually throughout his ENTIRE adult life and NEVER be stopped or face justice for any of it.
And I need to stress here what an IMMENSE fucking tragedy it is, on top of the ALREADY immense tragedy of the guy's personal life unto itself, that a guy like him who is in no small part responsible for a metric TON of genuine and legitimate mending of racial tensions and divisions between African Americans and whites throughout U.S. culture also happens to be guilty of something so monstrously vile, and thus forever horribly staining even THAT incredibly wonderful, and crucially important legacy of his. Rest assured: there are absolutely NO "winners" in a case like this.
The main point being: if millions of adoring fans who are ultimately total and complete strangers to a guy like Michael Jackson can bury their heads in the sand for him to THIS insane of a degree... imagine what his closest family and loved ones are capable and willing to overlook and blot out from their sight?
So do I think that EVERYONE close to Michael Jackson who has EVER "vouched for him" publicly is lying? Of course I don't. I think that when a certain person who is particularly close and dear to you does something horrible, no matter HOW blindingly obvious it is, you just don't WANT to believe it.
But to pull from a SUPER inappropriately dorky source for a very all-too perfectly fitting quote: Reality doesn't care if you believe it.
And lastly, I at least SOMEWHAT understand why this kind of conversation might need to be had publicly about a person of such immense weight in societal impact as Michael Jackson. That it needs to be had for some people with regards to - once again - Vic "Random McNobody Who (Badly) Voiced Some Dumb Japanese Cartoon Badguy a Couple of Times" Mignogna is just the absolute mountain HEIGHTS of absurd and pathetic on a titanically embarrassing scale.